Tuesday, July 12, 2011

halfway through

Catching up to last week, Saturday was the halfway point in Project 365. When I got up that morning, I had no idea what I would shoot for the day. I like to make these milestone pictures have some sort of reference to the occasion, but I had no clever ideas to incorporate the number 183 (the day number) or the concept of one half. It was Elsa's one week birthday, so I thought about taking a picture of her... But 1) that has nothing to do with being halfway through, unless I could somehow make a closeup work of half of her face, and 2) the day before was a picture of Elsa.

By lunch time, an idea was formulating: I would walk to Noe Valley and buy a cupcake from Noe Valley Bakery to photograph. I had purchased a few cupcakes and fruit tarts from there for Carmen the previous Tuesday, and the Boston cream pie cupcakes had called to me then. (I resisted that day.) This time, I bought my cupcake and took it home to photograph with a birthday candle stuck in it. While the resulting picture doesn't reflect the numbers 183 or 1/2, it is festive. And it works for Elsa's one week birthday too. I did take some pictures of her that day as well, but I was glad that I didn't need to use any of them as the official picture.

183/365 celebratory cupcake

An Elsa picture was inevitable for Sunday, however. I did a photo shoot with her that afternoon to get some options for her birth announcements. Carmen brought her upstairs, and I set up their large bean bag in the box window of my bedroom. Covered with some fabric, it worked great as a background and baby holder. It was a nice warm day too—perfect for taking pictures of a nearly naked sleeping baby. (We weren't brave/crazy enough to do it without the diaper.) Carmen helped pose Elsa, and I snapped away. She flinched at the sound of the shutter occasionally, but she mostly stayed asleep. At 8 days old, she didn't curl up quite as tightly as she did the previous week. I still got some good sleepy newborn shots, though.

We had to take a break midway through so that Carmen could change and dress Elsa (and soothe her again). When they came back upstairs, Elsa decided to stay awake, so I was able to get some pictures of her with eyes open while she was wearing her summery outfit. The shot below was one of my favorites.

184/365 all about elsa

For July 4th, Steve cooked and we had Rob & Traci, Bruce & Bonnie, and Dan & Carmen (and Elsa & Enzo) over for dinner. It our first holiday with the baby, and she spent most of the time either in her bouncy seat on our large coffee table or in her co-sleeper on our bed. Enzo (the dog) even went to check on her once while she was sleeping. Very cute.

Dinner was a Mario Batali stuffed pork loin recipe, served with Thomas Keller's macaroni gratin from the Bouchon Cookbook. And for dessert, Steve made horchata ice cream, inspired by some we had at Topolobampo in Chicago. We had to do some creative thinking to determine what we should serve with it, but we ended up with pieces of mango, some store-bought ginger snaps, and some chocolate ganache that Steve made. Not too shabby, and Steve's plating made it worthy of being made picture of the day.

185/365 ad lib dessert

On Tuesday, it was back to work after the long weekend. I put my camera in my bag, just in case, and ended up taking the winning picture not far from the house. Steve and I had passed this color copy of a New Yorker cover tacked to a tree on Saturday, and it was still there. I'm not quite sure why someone put it up, other than the fact they found it amusing, but I did what I had not taken the time to do on Saturday and took a picture of it.

186/365 the new yorker

Wednesday's picture took care of itself pretty easily too. Steve and I went to see Billy Elliot at the Orpheum, so we went for dinner at Zero Zero before that. We were seated at the table upstairs by the window, where we sat the first time we ate there. And this time, it actually stayed light out long enough to make it a good spot for pictures. (It's one of the darkest seats in the winter, since it doesn't have its own light overhead.) We got the arancini that we always get, a pasta dish, a pizza, and some ricotta doughnuts with berry compote for dessert. All of those pictures are on Flickr, of course. But for the picture of the day, I chose a shot I took of Steve's cocktail, the Smokey Local, with the bokeh of the downstairs bar in the background. For me, the cocktails at Zero Zero are just as much of a draw as the food, and it's fun to have a fancy after-work drink with dinner.

187/365 the smokey local

Thursday was not so easy, and I resigned myself to using another baby photo. At least it had been three days since the previous one. Don't misunderstand—I like taking pictures of her; I just knew it would be tough to top the photo shoot pictures when I wasn't shooting in very interesting light. Anyway, I switched it up a little and used a picture with Elsa and her daddy this time. We joined everyone for dinner that night, and I got my baby fix.

188/365 daddy's girl

I was faced with the same dilemma on Friday, having taken no pictures before or during rehearsal that day. When I got home, the in-laws were working outside with Dan, preparing some trim to attach to the walls in Dan and Carmen's kitchen. The power saw was plugged in, trailing an extension cord out the door of their unit, and I had my camera out, looking for photo subjects. When Dan suggested that I take a picture of Enzo poking his nose out the door, I decided that was a good idea. And that became my picture for the day.

189/365 restricted area

Well, with the exception of that intimidatingly long Alinea post that I still need to write, I am now caught up with my blogging. Huzzah.


  1. I love the photos of sweet Elsa. And the one of Enzo is just too cute--Can I puhleeze come in???

  2. What a darling! I just smiled from seeing that picture of her sticking her tongue out like her dad. Made my day =)